A 42-year-old Chicago man accused of making threats against airline personnel and passengers was arrested at the Boise Airport over the weekend, according to Boise police.
Daniel T. McHugh was was booked into the Ada County Jail on Saturday afternoon on a felony threatening airline personnel charge, as well as misdemeanor resisting and obstructing officers.
Boise police officers who are part of the airport unit were alerted just after 2 p.m. Saturday to reports of an inbound flight from Denver with a possibly intoxicated passenger causing problems.
“He was agitated from the beginning of the flight to the end,” deputy Ada County Prosecutor Kari Higbee said during a probable cause hearing Monday.
McHugh was intoxicated before the Southwest Airlines flight left Denver and was only allowed on the plane after promising to refrain from drinking additional alcohol beverages, Higbee said
McHugh began yelling after he returned from using the restroom while the plane was in the air and flight attendants refused to serve him alcohol during a beverage service, Higbee said.
“He became belligerent and upset and told two of the flight attendants and another unknown passenger he wanted to kill them,” deputy Prosecutor Todd Baker said during McHugh’s arraignment Monday afternoon.
When officers entered the plane, McHugh tried to push pass them to exit the plane, police said.
During the probable cause hearing, Senior Judge Charles Day told Higbee that McHugh couldn’t be tried on the threatening airline personnel charge because the prosecution was unable to establish that the threats were made while the plane was over Idaho.
“If you want to keep that going, you’re going to probably have to interview the flight attendant and the captain and kind of figure out where the heck they were when the threat to life was made,” Day said.
McHugh, who had never been to Idaho, came to enjoy the state’s hot springs, defense attorney Gerald Bublitz said. He entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf on the resisting and obstructing charge and McHugh was later released from custody on his own recognizance.
Trial was set for Dec. 2 before Ada County Magistrate Kevin Swain.